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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Great Asbestos Trial - The Call For More Criminal Prosecutions

Documentary Film Highlights the Global Health and Environmental Crisis of Asbestos; Call for Further Criminal Prosecutions

Anti-asbestos campaigners have urged more criminal prosecutions against the global directors of asbestos corporations following the recent conviction of European industrialists Stephen Schmidheiny and Baron Cartier de Marchienne in Italy. The call was made this weekend at the 8th Annual International Asbestos Awareness Conference put on by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) and attended by activists from around the world.

ADAO has organized a special screening of the documentary film, Dust: The Great Asbestos Trial. The screening, made possible with the help of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, will take place Wednesday, April 4th at 7 pm at the Ray Stark Theatre at the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, CA. Directed by Niccol├│ Bruna and Andrea Prandstaller, the film tells the story of the groundbreaking Eternit trial in Italy, in which Schmidheiny and Cartier de Marchienne were sentenced to prison for having caused the deaths of over 1,000 asbestos victims.

“ADAO is delighted to present this daring and groundbreaking documentary at USC to bring attention to both the superb film and the global issue of asbestos, which has caused the largest manmade occupational and environmental disaster in history,” commented Linda Reinstein, President/CEO, ADAO. ”Other countries should follow Italy’s example and prosecute these people, who have knowingly exposed tens of thousands of people to lethal doses of a product they know kills.”

Following the screening will be a panel discussion hosted by ADAO that includes Dr. Michael Renov (Professor of Critical Studies and SCA Vice Dean, Academic Affairs), Niccol├│ Bruna (“Dust” Director), and Linda Reinstein (President/CEO, ADAO).

“Dust: The Great Asbestos Trial is a very accomplished film on a tough topic. I have seen many films on comparable topics but rarely have I seen such a broad and complex topic or such diverse locations and characters handled with such grace and concision,” comments Michael Renov, author of Theorizing Documentary (1993) and The Subject of Documentary (2004) and professor at the University of Southern California.

Asbestos is a known human carcinogen and exposure can cause mesothelioma and lung, gastrointestinal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers, as well as non-malignant lung and pleural disorders. The World Health Organization estimates that 107,000 workers around the world will die each year of an asbestos-related disease, equaling 300 deaths per day.

Film info and trailer:

Campaign website:

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